Anathema, meaning cursed ones, is a Chutes and Ladders-inspired board game about warring tribes who had abused the land for its natural resources and were cursed by their animal gods for their greediness. This curse caused the tribes to take on the form of the animals they worshiped, and their lands went to ruin. The tribes continue to fight over the remaining bountiful land.
To start the game, each player picks a character and rolls the die. When a player lands on a space, they take a chip that matches their character and place it on that space; that player now owns the space. However, if another player lands on that space, the two players have a dice battle. The player with the higher roll wins the space.
The Chutes and Ladders-inspired section is the statues on the board. If a player lands on a statue, they draw a card to determine which statue they will end their turn on.
The game ends once a player lands on the last space. However, that player isn’t necessarily the winner; it is whoever owns the most spaces once a player reaches the end of the board.
I get asked many times how I came up with the characters and the idea behind the game. It's a very difficult thing to explain because part of the game just kind of happened. The game concept initially started when I decided I wanted to create a territorial war game. During that decision I started to sketch the design for the rabbit at random. After that I drew the squirrel. I then questioned why these animals might be fighting. What would make them want to fight over territory? That is when I thought about indian tribes and researched their animal gods. I then came up with the idea that these animals were tribes that were cursed and their lands were cursed with them. That help me determine that I would draw the deer and horse next because they were animals that indian tribes had worshipped.
THE Board game design
The board game shape came to life based off a previous illustration style I was going to go with. However, that style didn't work out but the board game shape did. Everything on the board game is sketched, then brought to photoshop, and colored by me.